Where do Brown Rice Benefits Fit With Your Whole Food Choices (and a recipe)
In the spirit of leading a healthier existence and going back to what is natural and wholesome; many ‘old’ and trusted foods have re-entered our shopping carts and pantries. From food which are readily available all year long, to rare and precious; whole foods have made a colossal come back as both trendy and healthy food choices.
While you may be familiar with the health benefits of including avocados in your diet and the anti–aging properties of a honey and cinnamon combo; you may not be fully aware of the heartiness and wellbeing that brown rice can offer. An alternative to normal rice, brown rice brings a nutty taste and plenty of fiber to the table with some added nutritional and health benefits.
So, what exactly is brown rice and where does it come from?
Brown rice is actually white rice before the milling process. The side hulls and brans are still attached to brown rice. These attachments, which are removed during milling, are accountable for the amazing health and nutritional benefits previously mentioned. They are also rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals like Potassium, Selenium, Manganese, Calcium, Magnesium, Thiamine; not overlooking fiber and anti-oxidants. Brown rice also boasts a low glycemic rating, which makes it ideal for weight loss and diabetics.
If you’re not already convinced which rice to reach for the next time you hit the grocery store, then maybe this will sway your decision. Studies have proven that brown rice offers substantial benefits for post-menopausal women and cardiovascular disease. Brown rice also aids digestion and keeps bowel movement regular and uncomplicated.
While there are numerous pros to dishing up brown rice, there has to some cons, right?
Surprisingly, I have found only two real disadvantages and it lies in the preparation and texture of this versatile ingredient. Brown rice requires a longer cooking time than its refined counterpart. This is nothing a bit of careful planning cannot overcome. That and the health benefits outweigh the time you would be saving in faster cooking white rice.
The other down side is that brown rice has been described as having a chewy texture, something some consumers may not be able to adjust to. The chewy texture is due to the high fiber content and all that fiber is good for you.
If you are able to overlook these two disadvantages, you should definitely grab a bag of brown rice and try this quick and easy stir fry base recipe that can be adapted and revamped.
Stir Fried Brown Rice (Stir Fry Base)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 piece (3 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 cups cooked brown rice (cook according to package instructions)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 scallions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
You can easily make this recipe in advance and then freeze portions until ready to use. That way, the time is takes to cook the brown rice will not slow you down during busy days. Give it a try!
- In a large wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add red and yellow peppers; stir fry until peppers are tender for about 3 minutes.
- Add rice and soy sauce; stir occasionally until rice is heated all the way through for about 3 minutes.
- Stir in sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with scallions.